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Make Your Brand Visible On Reading Platforms

Josephine Buys, CEO of the PRC, states that although paper circulations might have declined, reading has not. This is good news for publishers and brands alike.

Global Research conducted by Nielsen for the Publisher Research Council (PRC) for its PAMS Brands People Products & Platforms (PPP) Fusion 2019 survey has revealed that during the day, when the shops are open and the vast majority of commerce takes place, a large number of consumers read newspapers or magazines.

Despite the long-held belief that drive-time radio shows take the greatest share of the audience, this new survey clearly proves that more people are reading during the day than are listening to audio.  

‘Radio drive time doesn’t have the same impact as it once had because there are now millions of more commuters and office workers, as well as people at home, who are reading on their cell phones and other online platforms during the day,’ said Peter Langschmidt, lead consultant to the PRC.

TV is unsurpassed at creating awareness and impact at the lowest cost per thousand, and this is why it takes the lion’s share of ad spend in South Africa. Read media are the perfect companion to TV as they allow readers to assimilate far more information, at their own pace, as many times as they need to re-read it, to fully understand all aspects of the product, as well as to compare prices and find the best and closest outlet to buy it.  

Smartphones are the primary platforms for reading news and magazine content online, the PPP research revealed, giving a useful guide to advertisers and publishers in terms of planning. This is why it is vital that creative must be device optimised and appropriate. This is a primary example of an age-old issue with creative not working in concert with media planning.

While many consumers are at work during the day, their smartphones are with them constantly. The data shows they tend to dip in and out of publishers’ sites during working hours, before heading home and settling in to watch TV. Even then, reading continues as those watching TV at night are increasingly ‘second screening’, taking in a television show, while checking out what’s going on with social media and breaking news stories.

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Mobile Has Become The World’s Premier And Competitive Marketplace

We all remember the first telephone we ever used, connecting with the person on the far end of that dialling tone. It was amazing to be able to connect like that no matter the time or distance (remember the girls hogging the phone for hours?), recalls Simba Hozo, Digital Specialist at Reprise Digital.

Years after this, an even better bit of tech evolved. A telephone you could have on you all the time, one you could walk around with and connect to with more than just voice.  But did you know that handheld phones had been in the making since 1918, in trains and automobiles? This and many other lightbulb moments helped Motorola and its peers to introduce the world to the future telephone that would colloquially be known simply as ‘the mobile’.

It is argued that South Africa is the foremost mobile-first nation in Africa, maybe even the world, similar to America being the world’s foremost computer-first nation. These are probably two of the world’s grandest means of connecting businesses and consumers globally a.k.a the desktop and the mobile. According to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), South Africa’s smartphone penetration today stands at a whopping 84%, doubling in the past two years.

It is at moments like this that I remember what one of my marketing mentors used to say, ‘Fish where the fish are, and if you can’t find fish where the fish are, change your bait.’ This was a simple analogy for the modern-day marketplace where quality leads have evolved from walk-ins to platforms.

Our world is a smartphone market place and it seems the only thing that matters these days is, ‘is it mobile ready?’ ICASA recorded smartphone subscriptions at 46.9 million as at 30 September 2018 and taking this in context of South Africa’s population, July 2018 Statistics South Africa reported the mid-year population to be 57.7million.

That is a staggering figure for any business wishing to connect with its consumers. Smartphone penetration has also seen a surge in application development, because what are people really doing on their smartphones apart from connecting and transacting? It goes without saying that it’s critical that brands are playing in the mobile space today more than ever. But, how are brands standing out? Who has mastered their ‘fishing’?

For a business to thrive, with more than just a shift in mindset, I believe the following three approaches are necessary:

– Look deeper and understand the type of audience you want to attract.
– Understand how your type of audience connects and converts as they sometimes don’t relate to the same thing.
– What device is your audience using to engage and at what time?

Mobile has in no way become the be-all and end-all of connecting with customers – that would be a dangerous assumption. There is however something to be said about constantly connecting with customers. Imagine serving a print ad, then serving the same ad via desktop or TV and then later re-serving it directly to the same customer’s mobile phone. Sounds a bit stalky and nonsensical doesn’t it? What if we could just re-purpose the same ad and serve it in three different appealing ways at three very convenient times, directly to that same customer? This is the impact of smartphones and where the power of the technology lies.

The technology behind mobile phones means that businesses have the ability to study their customer’s engagement and lifestyle patterns. After all, mobile has propelled today’s fastest-growing industrial stack – digital marketing, where the global online spend has grown 3% year on year since its inception.

Over the past three decades, it remains, without a doubt in my mind, that the biggest lesson for marketers throughout mobile’s incredible changes, is that the fundamentals have remained the same. It is still vital to reach the right customers, with the right message at the right time. Technology is accelerating at a tremendous pace and it pays to keep moving with the times. Mobile more than any other platform has become the world’s premier, and competitive, marketplace. So really, it’s always #MobileFirst.

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HaveYouHeard Signs Five New Accounts And Appoints New MD

HaveYouHeard started 2020 with five new clients: Absa, Campari Africa, Jameson Global, Jeep Clothing and Trotters UK.

Absa Retail Banking appointed the agency to address its influencer marketing strategy and implementation, while Campari Africa tasked it with similar responsibilities, primarily in Nigeria as a starting point and rolling out onto the continent later in the year.

Jameson Global has appointed HaveYouHeard to develop its global experiential and activations strategy, based on its current Global brand platform. Jeep Clothing is seeking strategy and execution within South Africa while Trotters, a children’s clothing brand in the United Kingdom, has appointed the agency as its digital partner.

HaveYouHeard has also appointed its Head of Integrated Execution, Victoria Gabler, as managing director. Gabler joined the agency two years ago after several years spent running her own business, heading FlicFlac and spending time in the corporate world overseas. She takes over from Co-Founder, Jason Stewart.

Victoria Gabler, new HaveYouHeard managing director.

Stewart, who has been largely responsible over the past three years for restructuring and re-skilling the agency to transform it from a small specialist mainly active in the influencer and social media spheres to a full-service agency able to meet the needs of any client or project regardless of size, hands over responsibility for the day-to-day running of the agency to Gabler. He will focus on adding value for the agency’s clients, as well as exploring unexpected opportunities for growth and building new revenue streams.

‘HaveYouHeard is in an incredibly healthy position with a very strong foundation, culture, team and systems that make doing good work exciting and stimulating, if not easy. We have a very unique offering and approach that clients are enjoying, have picked up exciting brands as new clients, and are perfectly positioned to be able to deliver very powerful work,’ he said.

‘It is therefore the perfect time for myself and Co-Founder Ryan McFadyen to relinquish day-to-day control and focus on what we do best, innovating within the creative world, by sharing responsibility for the agency’s future with someone who understands its idiosyncrasies, who shares our passion and vision, and who has the skill set to – quite frankly – do a great job. Gabler is undeniably that person. From day one, she leveraged her strong operational skillsets, financial acuity and street-smarts to make us more efficient and pass those benefits – financial and time savings – onto our clients.’

‘As Head of Integrated Execution, she managed all execution departments from experiences, to activations, to influence, to digital, to production, to PR. Here, she did a phenomenal job of integrating our departments and teams, morphing them from silos into collaborative units. This had an immediate impact on our work and made us more efficient and effective so that we were delivering better outcomes, easier. With her incredible ability to bring out the best in people and the teams they form, she is able to simplify and systemise excellence, and has earned the respect of everyone in the agency. We’re very proud of her, how she has grown through our in-house development and leadership programme, and look forward to seeing her positive influence on our clients’ businesses,’ said Stewart.

Gabler has a strong background in FMCG, a deep understanding of the South African liquor industry, and a solid track record in activations and brand events. She studied Marketing Management at the Institute of Marketing Management and has a Diploma in Advertising from The Institute of Marketing Management.

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The Migration Of Customer-Facing Websites And Apps To The Cloud

Image source: Bluegrass Digital website.

Bluegrass Digital CEO Nick Durrant mentions that modern businesses are moving customer-facing websites and apps to the cloud. It enables them to reduce infrastructure costs and spend more time focusing on revenue opportunities and business growth. 

Many companies already use multiple cloud providers in addition to their on-premise deployments and private cloud. Cloud requires a major shift in thinking in order to improve the user experiences and increase repeat business. This creates unique challenges when trying to make advanced services simpler to consume and maintain. It’s even a bigger challenge for business leaders to address the need for quicker and consistent app deployment across multiple platforms, each of which may have different configurations and capabilities.

Gartner claims that multi-cloud strategies will reduce vendor dependency for two-thirds of organisations through 2024, but this will happen in ways other than application portability. It says few applications ever move once they have been deployed in production and adopted by the business. The majority of multi-cloud strategies are more focused on procurement, functionality and risk mitigation than on portability.

So why should one consider moving to the cloud? The short answer is that it provides lower infrastructure cost with massive financial and operational rewards. There are many other benefits to move to a cloud architecture: these could include greater flexibility, lower operational overheads and reduced infrastructure costs.

It is a challenging and highly complex task that requires careful planning. Business is fast realising that migrating to the cloud is not as easy as it seems and there is a huge amount of learning and upskilling required. This is a reason why businesses need to find a partner to support them on this journey.

With cloud-based apps, businesses now have access to a plethora of benefits that traditional apps could never provide:

Better collaboration

Employees can now work and collaborate from anywhere. Cloud-based services and apps enable staff to access the same tools and data, no matter what device they are working from. In so doing, it keeps everyone on the same page, reducing the risk of miscommunication and increases efficiencies.

Always up-to-date software

With most cloud-based solutions, businesses no longer need to worry about updating or maintaining software. With Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), the tools and apps are updated automatically without any intervention from the IT department.


Instead of purchasing and keeping several servers, storage and licences, cloud allows one to purchase additional storage and licenses instantly at any time.

Eliminating costs

For any company, establishing and running a physical data centre could be a costly and time-consuming affair. It requires a range of physical resources that are knowledgeable and experienced. By opting for cloud data servers, businesses merely pay for the service and can unsubscribe at any point. Cloud helps cut on the overall investment expenses and adds to a better return on investment.

Flexible resources

Employees can now work remotely using desktop virtualisation, a cloud-based app that enables staff to access their desktops from anywhere. They can access their apps, services and data regardless of where they are, as long as they have a device that connects to the internet.

Remote access to data

Need to make key business decisions when travelling? Cloud is the answer. It provides instant access 24/7 to all important data and one no longer needs to keep redundant copies of this data on any device whilst travelling. More importantly, the data is always updated, so one will always be accessing the same data that any team member is working on.

Improved security

Updated software also means improved security. Using cloud-based apps can help ensure staff are using the most secure software possible. This can also help prevent unauthorised access to confidential or sensitive company information that is stored in the cloud.

Competitive advantage

Forward-looking companies will continue to find new ways to transform. They are putting their apps in the cloud because the business case is compelling and it gives them a competitive advantage. As they gain experience with migrating to the cloud, new opportunities for increasing agility, focus and cost savings will emerge.

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Storytelling Often leads To Successful Marketing And Advertising Campaigns

According to Cindy Diamond, Group Sales Director at Mediamark (Kagiso Media), good storytelling is at the core of some of the most successful marketing and advertising campaigns of the past few decades. The secret lies in creating a meaningful link between your brand and the consumer’s reality, dreams and aspirations.

Our ability to tell stories and make emotional connections with others is one of the things that defines us as human. From the first cave paintings and oral folk tales to today’s Hollywood blockbusters, stories have remained central to building intimacy and trust.

We live in a world where it’s becoming increasingly hard for brands to decisively differentiate themselves based on features, pricing or customer service. Brand storytelling has the potential to create a diversion in a sea of sameness.

The rise of multichannel has empowered consumers to engage with more devices, channels and touchpoints – often at the same time. The challenge is to tell a coherent story in a fragmented media landscape. What’s more, customers no longer see themselves as passive consumers of content. Through social media, the opportunity exists to interact with, disrupt and even reshape a brand’s narrative.

Four tips for brand storytelling in a multichannel world:

1. Play to the strengths of each channel

When a brand wants to lead the launch of a campaign with a strong storytelling component, it is critical to match the right media type and the corresponding components of the story. We instinctively understand that comic books, novels, movies, and plays all tell stories, but tell them in different ways according to the tools and techniques they offer the creator.

When it comes to marketing, you can tell brand stories on any channel, but not in the same way. For example, it is difficult to share a ‘moment of self-discovery’ on a static billboard. Rather match this part of the tale with radio or other audio media to spark listeners’ interest.

The job of ‘matchmaking’ requires a deep understanding of the range of channels selected, their consumer profiles and nuances in consumer behaviour as well as how each can be woven into the larger brand story.

2. Be authentic

A brand story should attempt to build on real-life experience or at least make use of the tools of fiction to make its point. What you’re looking to achieve is that the brand story tells a deeper truth about your product or brand, its values and the role it plays in the consumer’s life. A good story resonates because it has an emotional truth to it – and that emotional truth should be rooted in the purpose that drives your brand.

3. Invite customers to be part of the story

No longer do customers want to sit on the sidelines as you tell your brand stories – they want to interact; they want to share their opinions and they want to co-create.

Brand in-hand experiences are great ways to bring people into the story. And once they are part of the story themselves, they’ll be even more compelled to share it with others.

4. Use data, AI as well as you own ‘gut’ to drive personalisation

The combination of the three allows us to gain real-time insights about end-user behaviour, interests and demographics. You can also use these insights to target the right messages to the right people at the right time and on the right channel. Measurement tools need to be determined upfront in order to determine the impact of the message imparted, at the time it was imparted and on the medium chosen.

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The Evolution Of Retail: Changing Customers And Digital Advancement

Image source: SACSC website.

CEO of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC), Amanda Stops, says that from year to year, the evolution of our industry is one of staggering promise and opportunity – as well as uncertainty.

The future may be unknown, yet two things are certain: customers will continue to change, and digital advancement will carry on reshaping our world in ways that encourage people to form new habits, find new ways to work together and become better human beings. And, in most cases, these changes translate into a range of opportunities and disruptions across every part of our industry.

On of SACSC’s key aspect to address is design that accommodates the needs of consumers in the future and the environmental concerns of our day. It might be a reach to imagine what the shopping centre might look like in the near future, but it is necessary to think about it now. Reimagining shopping centre design will require us to delve into various disciplines including engineering, art, science and architecture.

The other key aspect to consider is the impact technology and digital advancement is having on consumer purchasing habits. A recent PwC report shows that technology has given the consumer the tools to put them in a position to demand a tailored, seamless and multichannel shopping and social-media powered experience. Retailers need to have a blend of physical, technology and digital approaches.

Today, the customer experience is all about ‘inspiration’ no matter what category a retailer plays in. Digital helps to engage the retailer’s community on an ongoing basis, connecting with them in relevant and creative ways. Consumers want to be able to use technology to help them engage with the store, whether physical or digital, at every step of the shopping journey. It is a powerful tool in influencing and changing consumer behaviour. As new technologies emerge to disrupt industries, companies of all sizes can’t afford to sit on the side lines. In a world where new technologies pop up all the time, the companies that put consumer needs first are in a position to win.

The integration of the shopping centre with technology and digital to create a great customer experience is verified by research. Consumers say that the physical store remains an important element of both researching and purchasing. Shoppers increasingly prefer to research online, but many still want to go to a store to make their purchase. With the convergence of offline and online shopping, digital has become the avenue for growth. Stores don’t need to make the sale – they need to deliver an experience that supports the brand.

At this year’s SACSC Congress, we will delve into: how we as an industry we need to evolve to keep ahead and how we need to do things differently as well as how to optimise the blend of the shopping centre experience and use of technology to create a greater return on experience with the customer and thereby gain a competitive advantage.

The 2020 SACSC Congress will take place from 7 – 9 October 2020 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

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This article was sourced from www.sacsc.co.za

How To Approach Digital Transformation

Image source: DYDX website.

Templar Wales, Partner at DYDX explains how you should approach digital transformation in 2020.

Trend predictions are for Fendi, Gucci and Chanel. Even Louis Vuitton opening their new restaurant in Osaka is a trend for luxury brands, following Burberry, Ralph Lauren and Tiffany’s. But, in digital transformation, there are things that, if you aren’t already doing, you should be doing. And what you should be doing depends on your particular business and who your customers and employees are — not trends.

Approaching digital transformation

No email – and the future of work

Email might always have a small role for formalising agreements, just like paper still has a small role, but we find that in workshops on team behaviour, most agree that emails (asynchronous) should be replaced by something like Slack because its synchronous, organised, and the right people are in the right channels — no ‘who should I CC?’ issues.

But what’s important is that the people in the team agree on new behaviours (even if just by majority consensus), commit to trying, and don’t lapse to old ways when they’re stressed or under pressure. And even if they do lapse, that they just get back on the bus again.

The Future of Work is not about selecting and implementing new software. Successful transformation is about shifting teams’ behaviour and skills to use the software and continuously measuring and improving the systems and processes.

No Code – and XaaS

Yes, there will always be some code to be written, but most of the functionality we need is readily available as a service. This means faster implementation, more flexibility and manageable costs. All the time you save building services should be spent on defining the customer or employee experience from end to end, weaving the services together into a more seamless journey and automating anything that computers do better and faster than us mere mortals. By the time you scope, build and test your Titanic/Albatross/Metropolis (needs a better metaphor) it’ll be out of date. Transform at the speed of life.

No design – and better design

There is still lots of design and the experience is vital to the use of a product or service. But with the rapid adoption of voice commands and apps that communicate with us primarily through audio, and minimising visual engagement, we need to consider how people experience brands and their services without aesthetic cues. All of the design decisions you made in the past need to be accounted for in audio. In both visual and sound design, less is better — don’t let your ideas and brand get in the way of good user experience.

No consumers, no users – and the rise of the human

AI, machine learning and automation feel like they could threaten our jobs and our security, but in most cases, they free us up to be more human — giving us more time to do the stuff we’re good at and neural networks aren’t (for now).

Digital transformation is all about improving the human experience, about solving human problems. Service Design and Design Thinking are rooted in Human-Centred Design. The person you’re solving for is at the centre of the solution, not your very, very clever engineering.

So, we need to stop thinking of people as ‘users’ and ‘consumers’ and start seeing them as customers, employees and partners. It might sound like semantics, but the language we use changes the way we see experience things.

While I’m on this point, stop saying ‘Millennials’. People of all ages, colours and shapes have certain emotions and behaviours. Capture those feelings and behaviours and design for them, but seeing Millennials as a segment is just laziness.

No end

Transformation is not an end goal, it’s not a project, it’s an approach to ongoing improvement. It will become as normal as IT – which used to be a ‘thing’. In 2020, transformation will mature to be more pragmatic, more measurable and more achievable.

‘When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar,’ – George Westerman of MIT.

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Event Promotion Through Digital Marketing

Image source: GL Events facebook.

According to Maxime Rosenwald, Managing Director of GL events South Africa, event planners who have been in the industry for a while are also catching up with the newbies to keep up with the latest trends.

In the past few years, South Africa has shown a huge increase in attention to detail when it comes to marketing an event and implementing the right sources to improve the way events are run. One type of marketing that has caught our attention is digital marketing.

Researching and attending events to get insight into the latest industry trends and campaigns is a good way to start. Social media platforms are far more effective in today’s marketing landscape and are highly cost-effective.

2020 will see increased usage of social media and new technologies that are sustainable. The focus is to pay attention to engagement. Research shows that YouTube is gradually becoming more popular than Facebook in South Africa – this is in both short and long-form. Technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, are not something the industry is rushing to get into, however, they are placed under the long-term strategy for marketing. Digital marketing works hand-in-hand with consumer experience, giving you the opportunity to engage seamlessly with your consumer before, during and after and event.

Implementing digital marketing into your events also means taking the time to know your consumer: what is it that they want? What are they comfortable with and how far are they willing to go for you and your event? Create an environment that allows for feedback-related marketing, as this will assist you to not only better your next series of events but creates a solid loyalty base and great engagement. The systems used for your consumer engagement should feel safe for them as research shows that South Africans are becoming more cautious with sharing data. It is important to keep customer data safe. This will mean keeping a clean database, not sharing data in any unlawful way and always giving consumers the option of opting out of communication as a form of surety.

E-commerce has shown to play a big factor in your events as well. A report compiled by Forbes shows that 72% of Instagram-users make use of in-app purchases and about 70% of surveyed Pinterest users make use of the app to find new and interesting products.

What does this then mean for your event? Electronic booking or ticket systems – selling tickets through existing software that is easily accessible for consumers and be able to track their online behaviour through analytics. The very same software can be used to promote your event. Another option that we’ve seen is having an app dedicated to your event only, this is especially important if your event is held annually. Your guests will have access to live updates, navigating through the event and leaving feedback. This gives event-goers a full-on experience.

New tools and technology are making the event industry run incredibly seamlessly, and every year it becomes better and better. It, however, does not end there. Always extend your knowledge on the latest strategies and align yourself with experts who are better skilled as they could know something you thought your event was nailing but is a huge fail. This year is going to be exciting for event planners and exhibitors. Remember: it does not end with digital marketing.

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Digital Components That Will Boost Customer Relationship Marketing

Michael Gullan, Co-founder and Managing Director of G&G Digital, says the year 2020 once seemed so far away — with flying cars, robots, video calling and even smart homes. Well, the future has arrived and hasn’t changed much, especially in business.

While we have seen many developments in technology and marketing strategies over the last decade, one thing that remains important to any business is customer loyalty. No matter the sector or size still, businesses rely heavily on customer loyalty. Loyalty can best be achieved by listening to customers, acknowledging their value and solving their needs.

Advocacy and Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) and smart strategies to create loyal customers and will give businesses the edge over competitors. Three digital components that will give your advocacy and CRM strategy an extra boost and help take your business to the next level.

1. Data

Business can collect a vast amount of data on a single customer. Data has no meaning unless it is accurately mined for insights. Use those insights to create new opportunities that add value to customers on an ongoing basis. This will build brand love, affinity, loyalty and, ultimately, advocates.

2. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance advocacy and CRM strategies. By integrating AI with advocacy and CRM, customers receive information on their device of choice at just the right time to add value to their lives.

Effective AI and automation deliver personalised content triggered and delivered just when your customers need it most – a proven effective way to boost brand engagement and loyalty.

3. Quality content

Producing quality and authentic content is key to any CRM and advocacy marketing. Use the same insights mined from your data to inform engaging content creation, then build that brand-customer relationship by delivering content that adds real value.

Adding to that, it’s essential for businesses to interrogate their content performance, and surprise their customers with what they’re not expecting, while at the same time always learning and refining their content process.

Technology will continue to impact businesses, and when used effectively can significantly assist businesses in achieving their objectives. Advocacy and CRM will become your most effective tools as they would embrace 4IR.

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PRISA Announces PRISM 2020 Young Voices

The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) has announced the 2020 PRISM Young Voices – the 10 young people who will be given an opportunity to be mentored by South Africa’s top PR and communications professionals. The selection process is conducted by the PRISM Young Voices (PYV) committee, which is selected yearly from the previous year’s alumni. 

This year’s candidates are:

1. Emma Anderson.
2. Lerato Motloung.
3. Siyolise Shinga.
4. Nombulelelo Fox.
5. Samantha Mabaso.
6. Tashinga James Nyahunda.
7. Siyabonga Thwala.
8. Brenda Sono.
9. Candice Marescia
10. Oarabile Tlhabane.

Deputy chairperson of the PYV, Ayanda Siswana said, ‘There are only 10 slots every year and we have a big responsibility of ensuring fairness in the selection process. We think absolutely holistically about an entrant in terms of the value we see them adding to the programme and their potential to excel.’

Monare Matema, 2020 committee chairperson, and Siswana, commented, ‘The PYV has gained such an incredibly positive reputation in our industry for being the platform that exposes young talent to some of the most-renowned and respected senior experts in public relations and communications, as well as an extensive network of companies and opportunities within those organisations. The calibre of candidate that is presented to PYV every year keeps improving and that poses a challenge to the committee to have their best sharp eyes and minds on when reviewing entries; it is the tiniest details in an entrant’s motivation that puts them ahead of another candidate.’

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